Legendary British rockers UFO released their take on 12 classic tunes originally performed by other artists. The band currently consists of original members Phil Mogg, lead vocals; Andy Parker, drums; longtime keyboardist/rhythm guitarist, Paul Raymond; lead guitarist Vinnie Moore; and relative newcomer, Rob De Luca, bass guitar. The Salentino Cuts rose out of a suggestion from Cleopatra Records, their current label. After a lengthy and painstaking process of song selection, they arrived at the dozen tunes included in the collection. Moore states “It took a long, long time to kind of hone in on it.”
The album’s mix is dominated by rockers and blues numbers. There are some interesting choices within it that are a bit of a surprise. Most notably among them is the John Cougar Mellencamp song, Paper in Fire. Initially, they had set out to record the Mellencamp tune Rain on the Scarecrow. Moore relates, “Phil loved the song…but he thought it was very American…the heart of America, and as an Englishman, didn’t feel sincere and genuine singing that.” One other provocative selection is the melancholy Bill Withers number, Aint No Sunshine.
Highlights on this album are Robin Trower’s Too Rolling Stoned on which Moore’s guitar work and tone is a true homage to the originator. Steppenwolf’s The Pusher, is a tune where everything comes together and the performances are stellar. Says Moore, “I really didn’t want to do…The Pusher, but ironically, that came out as one of my favorites on the record.” Tom Petty’s Honey Bee is a bluesy rocker where Mogg hits his stride and his vocals resonate as their most passionate.
The record overall has some hits and misses. The blues tunes hit the mark on a consistent basis. Some of the tunes are too slow, with vocals that lack inspiration. The sound from the drums lacks punch throughout. Moore’s guitar work is very good across the entire record. This record needs a few listens to gain your attention, but after a few runs through, most will find some things to appreciate.
1. Heartful Of Soul
2. Break On Through (To The Other Side)
3. River Of Deceit
4. The Pusher
5. Paper In Fire
6. Rock Candy
7. Mississippi Queen
8. Ain’t No Sunshine
10. Too Rolling Stoned
11. Just Got Paid
12. It’s My Life